For a long time, my stripes were invisible. Easy to conceal.
They toughened me, insulated me from the outside world, from being hurt again, from opening up to the vulnerability of receiving.
I could hide them and pull power from them. I grew harder. and harder. and harder. A clenched fist of rock, pushing through and preventing anyone from penetrating my soul.
But no matter how tightly I clenched,
Whispers came clearly through the cracks.
Guidance from my Intuition to listen in,
Forgive and bloom.
To allow the Love that I shared with others to reflect back from them into me.
Instead of listening, I pushed these whispers away, calcified my hearing,
it couldn’t be trusted.
Then the stripes:
the fear of being abandoned once again began to brim.
But this time, not just by the one I should have been able to trust
but by the Universe itself.
Complete rejection was a stake.
These stripes began to surface, to literally pop up on my skin.
Became visible, unable to be ignored.
My body began to physically break down.
The external manifestation of the turmoil coiling around my being was creeping up and out.
My body screamed for help,
‘Notice me, care for me, love me…’
The whispers I didn’t listen to before were now shouts.
For a long time I had focused on the hate and anger,
Letting it drive and consume me all at once.
Perfection was my stronghold yet the goal I could never achieve.
It was my engine of accomplishment so how could I let it go?
My list was unending, I had too much to do to stop and pay attention.
I had to have the perfect GPA + projects + mannerisms + posture + relationship + image
I’d studied perfection and found even that to fall short.
Dissecting it until I was mutilated.
What was wrong with it?
What was wrong with me?
There was always this underneath fear behind the perfection.
One rooted in events from long ago.
My biological father had abandoned me and my mom when I was a baby.
And if I could be rejected at my most perfect state,
How could I ever measure up now?
How could I ever be good enough?
My crescendo of a breaking point came four years ago.
On the floor of my apartment.
In the darkened interior of the bathroom in the middle of the afternoon.
Huddled in the corner on cold tile, wailing for relief, for comfort, for internal and external healing, for Love.
The kind that couldn’t disappear, because it was a constant part of creation.
The kind that didn’t set standards, because I was already sacred by my very existence.
My entire life had been built on this assumption: I had to earn Love.
And in this moment, my world came crashing down.
I had been the best at everything I touched, received the accolades, gotten my masters, landed the job, had the guy, but inside I was crumbling and now my outside suit was matching my innards and letting everyone know the truth.
My worst nightmare brought to fruition: shame and failure for all to see.
I’d like to say me and Love embraced in my darkest moment.
That we ran into each others arms and all was magically righted.
That would be poetic.
But it was more like a quick glimpse,
A timid flick of eyes catching.
A relationship that grew as I came to personally experience and Know Source/God through loving myself.
Self love and care.
One moment at a time.
One act in each moment.
Through nurture instead of deprivation. [the kind that used to keep me working through meals and only allowed bathroom breaks once the ‘next thing’ was done.]
Through loving care of me instead of constant internal berating. [letting myself feel it all and accept my emotions instead of burying them and moving onto the next achievement while telling myself nothing I did was good enough.]
Through being instead of seeking external validation. [following my needs, wants, and desires vs trying to prove myself through my actions and resumé]
Over time, I’ve been broken open whole.
I’ve learned my goals are not me.
I’ve learned life can be easy, even in the hardest of times when alignment with internal values is consistent.
I’ve learned what really matters and that I am part of that: I matter. YOU matter.
It’s been years of untangling myself from the judgement of perfectionism, from the definition of my external circumstances.
I suppose it’s like alcoholism, I’ll never be ‘cured,’ but I also don’t have to be ‘fixed’ because I was never really broken.
I’d merely drowned out the still small voice of Knowing.
-A friend I now collude with daily.
When I start obsessing over the minutia again, I step back, breathe in, close my eyes, and zoom my perspective scope way out to see the entire Universe.
The cosmos in their entirety.
It reminds me that I'm [we all are] part of this tapestry, an integral and intricate part here to spread Love and ripples of pure Light.
To care for and encourage and uplift one another.
It reminds me that everything is in perfect working order if we just allow it and follow True Love, the kind our souls were born from.
It’s not always easy. Sometimes I still get swept up in the doing and forget to Be.
But like anything, the more I practice, the more it flows.
And the more it flows, the more Love momentum supports me.
Now I know that kind of Love,
The kind I’d been seeking,
The kind I only had to say yes to and invite in.
The kind that is infinite, and perfect, and steady.
Warm and peaceful.
The Source of all creation energy.
In the moments when we find perfectionism verging on destruction, instead of beating ourselves up for falling into that old groove, let’s breathe in, say I love you, listen into the silence, and slather some Source powered salve onto our souls.
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Sacred Soul Discovery: Cultivate Your Sacred
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